Regina Cagle

Regina Cagle

Regina Cagle

Speaker | EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC

Hunt Valley, MD |

Regina Cagle Irr, P.E. is an environmental engineer with over 14 years of experience providing design, permitting and construction phase support for municipal engineering projects, including solid waste, organics, waste diversion and zero waste projects. Ms. Cagle Irr has supported concept-level organics facility planning; organics recycling technology reviews; feedstock assessments; site design and construction; and compost facility permitting. Ms. Cagle Irr serves as a project manager, interfacing with clients, regulators, subcontractors, and vendors to meet project needs.

Session Code: B1

Track: Policy

Session Name: State and Local Policy Work

Session Time: 8:15 to 9:45 AM

Presentation Title: Are You in the Zone? Understanding Maryland’s Commercial Food Waste Ban and the Impact of local Zoning Ordinances

Presentation Description: In Maryland, a state-wide study showed that organics comprise 24% of waste currently being landfilled. In 2021, the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 264 to address diversion of organics from landfilling, enacting diversion requirements for large food waste generators achievable via source reduction, food donation, and recycling (e.g. composting or anaerobic digestion). For large generators required to recycle pre- and post-consumer food waste beginning 1 January 2023, the presence of local and accessible food waste processing operations is critical. While this State regulation seeks to spur change in the disposal of food residuals, local code may affect the siting and establishment of new facilities. Model ordinances have been developed to support local leaders in developing composting as a regulated land use; promote the benefits of composting; establish a land use distinct from solid waste land uses; encourage diversion of local food waste; and regulate best practices of compost operations. The analysis in this presentation looks at the status of existing food waste processing capacity within Maryland, including zoning and land use; a survey of local zoning designations for existing and future organics processing facilities; and compares local zoning ordinances to a model ordinance; to draw conclusions about the effects of local zoning on the potential future expansion of commercial organics processing infrastructure in the State.